Part of the animation course at Southbank Institute of Technology involves animation field trips.
Despite Miyazaki advising animation students not to watch animation but to experience real life to inform their animation creativity, or words to that effect, the allure and appeal of animated feature films remains strong.
This post is spurred by the nominations for this year's Oscars. But before we skim across the surface of who has been nominated, I would like to point out that my deepest interest is in animated short films, where we get to see the interesting, wobbly cutting edge of the animation illness that infects our imaginations.
The Oscar list, they can only have 5, always appears a bit different when I compare it to the animated features I enjoyed: Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Princess and Frog, The Secret of Kells (recommended by Terry and Cassie (if only the DVD had the correct zone, but thanks for lending it to me)), Up. Slap my wrist but I only got to see Coraline and Up, from that list to date and enjoyed both. Based on that, the Oscar should go to the first 15 minutes of Up, in my opinion. More research, more research... I love being an animator!
The Annie Awards are usually an interesting comparison, but this year have proved to disappoint in terms of providing some controversial difference: Coraline (again), Mr. Fox (again), Princess/Frog (again), Kells (again) and Up (again). But with the addition of Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs.
So as an exercise, a few brain push ups, I tried to remember which animated feature films popped my imagination corn in 2009.
Here goes: 9 (disappointed after being excited about the short film), Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs (twice; due to babysitting, not by choice), Coraline (I was suitably scared, needles and eyes = ERK!), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (in Paris - good fun! The test of animation communication is to watch a film in a different language), Mary and Max (brilliant + tears), Monsters versus Aliens (lively and laugh out loud), Up (brilliant), Igor* (trained by one of the animators at summer school), Ponyo* (currently more wonderful than Disney - until I get to see Princess and Frog), Idiots and Angels* (at an Australian premiere with about 15 other people), The Tale of Despareaux*, Persepolis*, A Christmas Carol (I was not in the target audience), Waltz with Bashir*, Sita Sings the Blues*, Peter and the Wolf* (2008 Oscar winner - stop mo')... Whew, I think I've got memory cramp. (*2008, or earlier, release date)
And the nominations for Best Animated Feature Film in this year's Frank awards are:
- Mary and Max
- Monsters Vs Aliens
Ahhh, now I feel better. Sssstrrrretch and reaceeeeeach for the coffee.